Two of the most versatile and powerful pluripotent stem cell types are embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). For this reason, the patent environment surrounding these stem cell types is complicated, and there are a number of restrictions on how the cells can be used for commercial purposes.
The most infamous stem cell patents are held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and concern the derivation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Founded in 1925, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is a nonprofit patent and licensing organization for the University of Wisconsin–Madison.” It manages a $2.6 billion endowment build over 90 years of licensing activity , making it one of the world’s most successful university-based technology transfer offices. [Read more…]